Shahrir should state his stand on the disruption of the Pakatan Harapan programme in Kg Bakar Batu in Johor Baru last night

It is most regrettable that a Pakatan Harapan programme in Kampong Bakar Batu in the Johor Baru parliamentary constituency last night for the DAP State Assemblyman for Stulang, Andrew Chen Kah Eng, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) Johor Secretary and former three-term Assemblyman for Kempas, Datuk Osman Sapian, and the PKR Johor Information Chief, Akmal Nasir, AMANAH Johore Baru deputy chairman Muadz Jamaluddin and myself to meet and dialogue with the people in the area had been disrupted and cancelled.

If this had happened 50 and 60 years ago, it would not have been surprising.

But for such a regrettable event to happen 61 years after the achievement of Merdeka in 1957 and thirteen General Elections had been held in Malaysia shows that to some people in the country, the spirit and commitment to parliamentary democracy is very skin deep.

It highlights what should be a very sobering reality that Malaysia lags behind, not only the West whether the United States, United Kingdom and Europe, but even Asian countries like Japan, India, South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia in practicing parliamentary demoracy.

We still have quite a distance to go to become a normal democracy where the people can change the government through the ballot box without any dire warning or threat of disaster for the country, or for any community whether racial or religious, and where political parties can freely, democratically and peacefully meet and dialogue with the people about the problems of the country and their plans for the future.

This is why my first reaction last night to the regrettable event was to ask the long-standing Member of Parliament for the area, Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who had been MP for Johor Baru for six terms since 1978, for clarification as I cannot imagine that Shahrir could be the mastermind or even countenance such an undemocratic event.

I have always known Shahrir as one of the UMNO leaders who is more committed to the principles and practices of parliamentary democracy, and I will be most shocked if he has so changed as to mastermind or countenance what happened in Kg Bakar Batu last night.

It is most regrettable that the Umno leadership, led by the Prime Minister and the UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has continued with their lies, fake news and false information which he repeated during his visit to northern Johore two days ago that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

In my five decades in Malaysian politics, I have never accused UMNO or any of the past UMNO Presidents and Prime Ministers for being anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikkhism.


This is because as political leaders, we must set an example to strive to become representatives of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or background.

This is why I have been able to work with three of the former Prime Ministers after their retirement, namely Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Mahathir Mohamad – whose premiership span 40 of 60 years of the nation’s history.

I may have political differences with Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Mahathir Mohanad when they were Prime Ministers, but I had never accused them of being anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Christian, anti-Buddhist, anti-Hindu or anti-Sikkhism, for political leaders whether from the government or opposition must strive to be leaders of all Malaysians!

The Minister for Communications and Multi-media, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak recently blogged that Najib is a gentleman.

If so, can Salleh or the Prime Minister explain why Najib continues to disseminate lies, fake news and false information that DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam?

Tun Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had admitted that these allegations which they had made against the DAP when they were in UMNO were untrue and baseless.

When will Najib face up to the truth and stop disseminating lies, fake news and false information – or Malaysians have to wait until he is evicted from Putrajaya?

This is why Malaysians have grave reservations about the Azalina Fake Committee on Fake News, for the government has lost all credibility and is unable to convince Malaysians that it is not embarking on an effort to weaponise fake news against Pakatan Harapan and independent NGOs under the guise of combatting fake news.

The latest UMNO/BN fake news is that Tun Mahathir is leading a Pakatan Harapan delegation to the United States to meet American political leaders to seek foreign help to topple Najib as Prime Minister, with the UMNO Vice President and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein peddling the fake news by accusing Mahathir and Pakatan Harapan of “hypocrisy”.

The fake news that a Mahathir-led Pakatan Harapan was leaving for the United States in a fortnight to lobby for foreign support came as a total surprise even to me, as I am no more in the Pakatan Harapan Presidential Council, as there is no iota of truth in it.

Will Hishammuddin be hauled up by the Azalina Fake Committee on Fake News for peddling the latest fake news against Pakatan Harapan?

One of the most pernicious and iniquitous fake news is the one favoured by UMNO leaders that if UMNO is defeated in a general election, Malays will lose political power and become strangers in their own land as they will never recover such political power.

This is a double lie, for the Malays will not lose political power if UMNO is evicted from Putrajaya, so the question of the Malays recovering political power never arises.

No UMNO leader had been able to answer the two questions which had been posed by the National Laureate Pak Samad to expose such political lies, viz:

  • How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for six decades?
  • What have they (Malay leaders) been doing in six decades (if Malays can be under threat)?

A few UMNO leaders have realised that such fake news and threats of dire consequences to hold the Malays to ransom would not work.

The best rebuttal to the UMNO leaders’ warnings that the Malays will perish if UMNO is defeated in the forthcoming general election had come from the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan in his speech at the opening of Hishammuddin’s Sembrong Division UMNO delegates’ conference in Kluang last August.

Mohamad said Umno must woo the Malay voters to get the support of the majority of the people so that BN wins the 14th general election.

He said Umno could no longer think that the Malays needed it but instead it was Umno that needed the Malays in order to survive.

He said: “The Malays now have many choices such as PAS, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu). We (Umno) cannot be complacent saying that the Malays need us.”

Mohamad failed to mention DAP, as the DAP is party which will defend the uphold the interests of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli.

But Mohamad Hassan is very right.

UMNO leaders have been holding onto power by generating the fear that if UMNO is defeated in a general election, Malays will lose political power and become strangers in their own land as they will never recover from such loss of political power.

This is a great lie, for the Malays will not lose political power if UMNO is evicted from Putrajaya, so the question of the Malays recovering political power never arises.

The demographic reality is the surest guarantee that the Malays will not lose political power whatever happens to Najib or to UMNO in the next general election, as the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose political power.

In 1957, Malaya’s population comprised 49.8% Malays, 37.2% Chinese, 11.1% Indians and 2% Other.s

In 1970 Malaysia’s population comprised 44.32% Malays, 34.34% Chinese, 8.99% Indians, 11.89% non-Malay Bumiputeras, 0.67% others.

In 2010, the percentage of Malays in the Malaysian population increased to 55.07%, Chinese reduced to 24.34%, Indians dropped to 7.35%, non-Malay Bumiputeras maintained at 11.94% and 1.3% others.

The Chief Statistician Datuk Dr. Hassan Abdul Rahman has predicted that the Chinese percentage of the population would shrink to 19.6% in 2030 and 18.9% in 2035.

Why are the UMNO leaders continue to beat the drum of the “Chinese peril” in Malaysia?

During the 13th general election, 52.63% of the voters were Malays, 29.68% Chinese, 7.31% Indians, 8.96% non-Malay Bumiputeras and 1.43% others.

Out of the 165 Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, 114 are Malay majority seats representing some 70%, 22 Chinese majority seats (13%) and 29 mixed seats. There is not a single Indian majority seat.

These triple factors, which will be a continuing trend in the coming years, establish the overwhelming Malay predominance in the Malaysian political scene – the demographic make-up of the general population, the electorate and the parliamentary constituencies – and why there is no way the Malays can lose political power if UMNO is defeated in a general election!

I call on UMNO leaders to stop the campaign of lies, fake news and false information and stop invoking the fictitious “Chinese peril” in Malaysia.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah